Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
My garden never ceases to amaze me. There was some definite and intentional planning that went into what was planted. In each season a different plant or flower seems to take centre stage. In Summer there is a blanket of pink roses, winter it is the white camellias that add freshness to a quiet garden. It is certainly something that I can’t claim any credit for it as it was done before we moved here. Certainly since living here I have done nothing in the garden other than reap the benefits of someone else’s hard work and planning!
Being intentional about life is rather like tending a garden. It takes work, effort and planning! To enjoy the daffodils in spring you need to plant the bulbs in the fall. To be a teacher or lawyer tomorrow you need to study today. Decisions we make today determine our tomorrows. They determine our destiny. It means sometimes making choices based on a future hope instead of a present desire. The culmination of many small little decisions and choices will impact our future.
Being intentional in life goes further than our decisions too. It means being careful about our thoughts and words. It says in Proverbs that death and life in the power of the tongue. It means that what we speak about ourselves and our circumstances have an impact on our lives. Patricia King once wrote “the original purpose of words was not communication but creation.” We walk out in life what we declare. Make decrees of the Word and create your world!
“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
“Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.” (Alice Walker)
According to a mum at the swimming pools today, the best decision she has ever made was signing her children up to swimming lessons. All of us other parents concurred. Living in Auckland surrounded by beaches, ensuring our children can swim is an important life skill. Although I think she was somewhat regretting the decision by the end of the lesson as sitting poolside was rather hot.
Every day we make decisions – from the best, great, wise and good to the worst, bad, silly and even the inconsequential. Some decisions we deliberate on for ages – especially the big ones – is this the right house, is he the right husband (actually that didn’t much deliberation on my behalf!) . Smaller decisions sometimes also take a lot of deliberation – whether to buy that handbag. Ok, maybe not! Others we make almost subconsciously – the route we drive to work, what to watch on TV, certainly ordering a coffee falls into this camp for me.
The important thing to remember though is that our decisions set us on a path and in a certain direction. It is not by chance that my wardrobe has err a few handbags stuffed into it! It’s not by accident that we are living in the suburb we are living in or that there are a lot of Parisian features in my house. All of these stemmed from decisions I have made.
Lysa TerKeurst wrote this “Your decisions will determine direction. Your direction will determine destination.” If you don’t like the direction your life is heading, check the decisions you are making. It’s those decisions that are impacting your future. The only way to change the direction you’re heading in, is to change the decisions you are making.
“The decisions we make today determine the destination of our tomorrow” (Lysa Terkeurst). Makes our decisions weighty stuff! The great thing is, God is there to help with the big and the little decisions. Bear Grylls had some sage advice on this. He said in his letter to Scouts the world over:
“You see, if I am going to enter a difficult jungle or unchartered mountain range, I always make sure I have a good guide. Life is the same. Go it alone by all means but you make the journey that much harder. Trust me.. For me, my simple faith has so often brought light to a dark path, joy to a cold mountain and strength to a failing body. And who better to have as a guide than the person who made the path or the mountain in the first place. Psalm 121 says
“I lift my eyes up to the mountain; where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of Heaven creator of the Earth.”
Good person to have on side I always figure”
As it stands, I think next week at the kids’ swimming lessons us parents might come armed with iced water!